But that wasn't really the reason she participated, although it's nothing to scoff at! Instead, she refers to how being a survey participant has helped her see how her studio compares to others nationally. (All participants receive a free analysis of their studios compared to the Benchmark Survey results, a webinar about the results, and an advance copy of the results.)
"Although different types of businesses in different locals vary, the Benchmark Survey has been a good way to measure our costs to an industry standard. It gives us an overview snapshot of where our industry is headed, what is an acceptable cost of goods sold and where other businesses are," Susan says about how she's used the PPA benchmarks in the past.
"It also lets me see how the market is changing," she adds. "I have a retail business and expenses have gone up while net profit has gone down; whereas, in home-based studios, the last Benchmark Survey showed just the opposite was occurring. I will remain a retail business, and it helps to see where the expenses changed so I can address those changes."
Receiving that kind of knowledge and guidance made it more than worthwhile for Susan to gather her financial documents for the 2011 survey. She calls it a "great measuring stick" for her own business, and believes it's extremely important for more photographers to take part.
Want to see the Benchmark Survey results pay off for your own photography business? It's as easy as 1-2-3...and you have until October 31 to participate!
Participate by October 31, and you'll be in the running to win an all-inclusive trip for two to Imaging USA in New Orleans!